Pacific University recently sent an email informing students of a new half-semester, one-credit, online course about financial literacy being offered this semester. While I think it is good that the University is offering a course on personal finance, there are a few problems with how the class is being offered.
Initially, it seemed incredibly ironic to me to receive an email about financial literacy that couldn’t read the room. In the course description it says, “How is student loan debt treated differently from other forms of debt?” Which is another way of saying “let us tell you how student debt is different so you have a proper understanding of how much you’ve screwed yourself to have the privilege of taking this class.”
In-depth, comprehensive information on student loans, in particular, is something that should be given for free before attending college rather than after a student has already made that decision. Additionally, students may not welcome that information during a half-semester course in the latter half of spring semester; one of the most stressful times of the academic year.
The course notification was even more hilarious to me personally as I am a part-time student so I would effectively be dropping two grand to take a class on how to better manage my finances; not a great financial decision in my book.
Students so rarely receive proper education on “real-world” topics like money management and personal finance that they should be part of the base knowledge that we all receive. High school is a more appropriate environment for these topics because not everyone can go to college.
This is not to say that this class shouldn’t be offered because it absolutely should, however, it should be offered for free to students with the option for credit if a student wants to pay for it. It should also be offered at a different time in the school year so as to not inadvertently stress out students more than they already are. — Sebastian Herr